Defenders' stories

Here at ISHR we are constantly being inspired by the brave people taking action to defend human rights and want to share some of their stories with you.

Lawyer Yu Wensheng: The man who never yields

Any country that claims to respect the rule of law, must establish a fair legal system. However, in a totalitarian regime, those in power refuse to be constrained by law or respect citizens' legal rights. They choose to persecute, suppress and arrest lawyers who persist in defending civil rights. One famous example in China is lawyer Yu Wensheng, who was sentenced to four years in prison for “inciting subversion of State power”.

Human rights defender’s story: Rosana Lezama Sanchez from Venezuela

“What is needed from the international community in general, and from within the UN, is a concrete, coherent and unified voice in favour of the protection of human rights defenders, the safeguard of the fundamental liberties, the civic space and human dignity,” says Rosana Lezama Sanchez, a law student in Venezuela working with three national human rights organisations.

Human rights defender’s story: Barun Ghimire from Nepal

"The rights of migrant workers is a global problem, and actors in different jurisdictions have to come together to make a difference in this particular area," says Barun Ghimire, a human rights lawyer based in Kathmandu, Nepal. "And we need to create a collective narrative that is based on a rights-based approach of migrant workers".

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